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PLESIOSAURUS SNAGGED IN JAPANESE FISHING NETS!

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Author Topic: PLESIOSAURUS SNAGGED IN JAPANESE FISHING NETS!  (Read 1770 times)
In the Mouth of Madness
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« on: October 15, 2011, 03:45:57 pm »

Sea-monster or Shark?
An Analysis of a Supposed Plesiosaur Carcass Netted in 1977


© 1997-2007 Glen J. Kuban, gkpaleo@yahoo.com
Acknowledgments

Originally published in Reports of the National Center for Science Education , May/June 1997, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 16-28.
This article is part of Kuban's Websites

Abstract

A decayed carcass accidentally netted by a Japanese trawler near New Zealand in 1977 has often been claimed by creationists and others to be a likely plesiosaur or prehistoric "sea-monster." Plesiosaurs were a group of long-necked, predatory marine reptiles with four paddle-like limbs, thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. However, several lines of evidence, including lab results from tissue samples taken from the carcass before it was discarded, strongly point to the specimen being a shark, and most likely a basking shark. This should not be surprising, since basking sharks are known to decompose into "pseudoplesiosaur" forms, and their carcasses have been mistaken for "sea-monsters" many times in the past. Unfortunately, the results of scientific studies on the carcass data received less media attention than the early sensational reports, allowing widespread misconceptions about this case to continue circulating. Therefore, a thorough review of its history and the pertinent evidence is warranted.

On April 25, 1977, a fishing vessel named the Zuiyo-maru of the Taiyo Fishery Company Ltd. was trawling for mackerel about 30 miles east of Christchurch, New Zealand, when a large animal carcass became entangled in its nets at a depth of about 300 meters (almost 1000 feet). As the massive creature, weighing about 4000 pounds, was drawn toward the ship and then hoisted above the deck, assistant production manager Michihiko Yano announced to the captain (Akira Tanaka), "It's a rotten whale!" However, as Yano got a better look at the creature, he became less sure. About 17 other crew members also saw the carcass, some of whom speculated that it might be a giant turtle with the shell peeled off. However, no one on board could say for sure what it was (Aldrich 1977; Koster 1977).

http://paleo.cc/paluxy/plesios.htm
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